Nirav Modi's custody extended, trial to begin in September

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 06, 2020, 04.59 PM(IST)

File photo of Nirav Modi. Photograph:( ANI )

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PNB fraud case: Nirav Modi was told that the next hearing in the matter will be a case management one ahead of a five-day trial scheduled to begin from September 7

Nirav Modi, a diamond merchant who fled India and facing extradition, on Thursday was further remanded in custody until August 27. 

The fugitive businessman appeared via videolink before Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on charges of defrauding and laundering money of Punjab National Bank (PNB), which amounts nearly USD 2 billion.

Also read | Enforcement Directorate confiscates Nirav Modi's assets worth Rs 329 crore

Modi was also told that the next hearing in the matter will be a case management one ahead of a five-day trial scheduled to begin from September 7.

Also read | Enforcement Directorate brings back Rs 1,350-cr worth polished diamonds, pearls of Nirav Modi, Choksi firms from Hong Kong

"You (Modi) will appear via videolink again. Your lawyers may be present in court," District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said. 

The trial will not only deal with arguments of establishing a prima facie case against Modi but will also hear a second extradition request from India over additional charges of "causing the disappearance of evidence" and intimidating witnesses or "criminal intimidation to cause death". 

District Judge Samuel Goozee, who presided the first part of extradition trial, has already hinted that the requests made by New Delhi are "inextricably linked" and therefore he would be announcing an overall verdict post the conclusion of the second trial. 

The 49-year-old diamond merchant is facing charges that are centred around fraudulent use of a credit service offered by the PNB, known as 'letters of undertaking' (LoUs).

Modi has denied all the charges and claimed that using LoUs is standard practice in gems trade. 

(With inputs from PTI)